January 8, 2014 | Vol.54 N.2

The 5th Announces All-Local Cast for SPAMALOT

The Holy Grail of Entertainment at The 5th Avenue Theatre:

Monty Python's Spamalot

Featuring an All-Star Seattle Cast

Lovingly ripped off from the motion picture Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Book and Lyrics by Eric Idle; Music by Eric Idle, John Du Prez, and Neil Innes

Directed by Josh Rhodes; Choreography by Lee A. Wilkins

January 30-March 2, 2014

(January 6, 2014 - SEATTLE, WA) King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table are storming The 5th Avenue Theatre in Monty Python's Spamalot, the perfect musical to fight the winter blues. Based on the blockbuster 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, this hilarious musical comedy lays siege to Seattle featuring a stellar lineup of local talent including Joshua Carter, Allen Fitzpatrick, Richard Gray, Laura Griffith, Louis Hobson, Greg McCormick Allen, Matt Owen, and Dane Stokinger. Called "Fantastic! Gorgeously silly!" by The New York Post, Spamalot blends cerebral audacity with slapstick absurdity in this wacky version of King Arthur's mythical search for the Holy Grail. Bringing to the stage such classic Monty Python shticks as the Knights Who Say Ni, the killer rabbit, flying cows, and "Always Look on the Bright Side of Your Life," Spamalot is side-splitting fun.

"Monty Python's Spamalot requires the cream of the crop when it comes to comedic talent," said 5th Avenue Artistic Director and Executive Producer David Armstrong. "With some of Seattle's funniest musical theater talent in this cast, we know sparks will fly on The 5th Avenue stage this February."

Monty Python's Spamalot plays January 30-March 2, 2014 (press opening February 6) at The 5th Avenue Theatre (1308 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101). Tickets (starting at $39) may be purchased online at www.5thavenue.org, by phone at 206-625-1900, or at the Box Office at 1308 5th Avenue in downtown Seattle.

About the Cast

Broadway alum Allen Fitzpatrick returns to The 5th Avenue stage to play King Arthur. Fitzpatrick was most recently seen as Mr. Sowerberry and Mr. Brownlow in The 5th's holiday show Oliver! His Broadway appearances include Les Misérables, Memphis, 42nd Street, Driving Miss Daisy, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, among many others. At The 5th, Fitzpatrick was a hit as Sweeney in Sweeney Todd (Footlight Award), and has appeared in numerous 5th Avenue productions including Hairspray in Concert, Grey Gardens, and ELF - The Musical, to name a few. He is artistic director of Icicle Creek Theatre Festival.

Laura Griffith will light up The 5th Avenue stage yet again as the glamorous Lady of the Lake. Seattle audiences will recall her from previous performances at The 5th in The Music Man and Candide, among others. A recent Broadway-to-Seattle transplant, Griffith has appeared on Broadway in several critically acclaimed and innovative productions, including the Lincoln Center revival of South Pacific, The Light in the Piazza, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma!, and Sweet Smell of Success. She toured the country in The Light in the Piazza, and was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for her performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Recently returned from Broadway where he played featured roles in shows such as Next to Normal, Leap of Faith and Bonnie and Clyde, Puyallup native Louis Hobson will be transformed from a common bloke into a dashing Knight of the Roundtable, Sir Galahad. A 5th Avenue favorite, Hobson has starred in previous productions including West Side Story, Miss Saigon, Claude, and The Rocky Horror Show. After his recent return to Seattle, Hobson made headlines when he accepted the position of Artistic Director of Balagan Theatre. He has been seen as Jean Valjean in Balagan's production of Les Misérables and Corny Collins in The 5th's Hairspray in Concert, and he recently made his directorial debut at the helm of Balagan's Carrie, the Musical starring Tony Award-winner Alice Ripley.

Dane Stokinger will play the brave Sir Lancelot. He returns to The 5th where he has appeared previously in productions including Pirates of Penzance, Damn Yankees, and Guys and Dolls, among others. Stokinger has performed most recently in the hit production of Xanadu and the world premiere of Trails at Village Theatre, as well as The Wizard of Oz at Seattle Children's Theatre. He has toured nationally and internationally with productions of Jesus Christ Superstar and Miss Saigon and regionally with East LA Classic Theatre, Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company and The Ordway.

The talented triple threat Matt Owen plays Sir Robin, the not-quite-so-brave-as-Sir-Lancelot. No stranger to The 5th Avenue stage, the Edmonds native has performed at the theater previously in roles including ELF - The Musical, Grey Gardens (a co-production with ACT - A Contemporary Theatre) Oklahoma!, and others. Other regional credits include Yankee Doodle Dandy at TUTS Houston, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at North Shore. As a playwright, Owen's new work titled The Girl in the Park premiered in the 2010 New York Fringe Festival to great acclaim.

Greg McCormick Allen joins the quest for the Holy Grail as Arthur's trusted page, Patsy. A mainstay of Seattle theater, this marks his 22nd production at The 5th Avenue Theatre, and the 100th production of his career. His 5th Avenue credits include (most recently) ELF - The Musical, the world premiere of First Date (a co-production with ACT), and Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. He was most recently seen delighting children of all ages as the Grasshopper in the premiere of James and the Giant Peach at Seattle Children's Theatre.

Richard Gray has performed in 18 productions with The 5th Avenue Theatre including last season's ELF - the Musical, The Music Man, and the pre-Broadway run of First Date. He joins the cast of Monty Python's Spamalot as Sir Bedevere. He has been seen most recently as Centipede in the premiere of James and the Giant Peach at Seattle Children's Theatre and as Amos Hart in Chicago at Village Theatre. Gray is a mainstay of Seattle's musical theatre scene, with numerous credits at Village, The 5th, ACT - A Contemporary Theatre, Empty Space, and Crepe de Paris, to name a few.

Supporting the all-star cast is an incredibly talented ensemble including Scott Brateng, Eric Lee Brotherson, Gabriel Corey, Taryn Darr, Sarah Rose Davis, Eric Esteb, Charlie Johnson, Trina Mills, Heath Saunders, Sarah Shepler, Katy Tabb, and Pamela Turpen.

About the Director

Josh Rhodes makes his 5th Avenue debut at the helm of Spamalot. Most recently, he created the musical staging for the 5th Avenue/ACT Broadway transfer of First Date, and received a Drama Desk nomination for his choreography of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella. Additionally, he was the assistant choreographer on the Broadway hit, The Drowsy Chaperone. On stage and screen he choreographed Company starring Neil Patrick Harris and Sondheim: The Birthday Concert for The New York Philharmonic and PBS.

His additional stage credits include performances in Three Generations at the Kennedy Center, On the Town for the LA Philharmonic, Annie Get Your Gun (starring Patti LuPone as Ravinia), and Working at the Old Globe, the Broadway Playhouse in Chicago, and the Drama Desk Award-winning production at the Prospect Theater in New York. As a director, Josh created and directed Broadway Bares 20 and 21 in New York, The Full McNally at the Westport Playhouse, Paul Newman's Dream at Avery Fisher, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Casa Manana, SeriousFun Gala at the Roundhouse in London, and many 2XIST fashion shows.

About the Choreographer

Choreographer Lee A. Wilkins makes his 5th Avenue debut with Spamalot. His Broadway credits include associate choreographer of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella and First Date. For television, Wilkins was the associate choreographer of the NBC pilot of The Hatfields and McCoys, Sondheim: The Birthday Concert with the New York Philharmonic, and Company starring Neil Patrick Harris. He was co-choreographer of the national tour of Steel Pier and has credits at regional theaters across the country including North Shore Music Theater, Theater Under the Stars, and the North Carolina Theatre. He performed in Broadway productions of ELF- The Musical, Monty Python's Spamalot, Wonderful Town, Kiss Me Kate, and Guys and Dolls. He performed in national tours of Cats, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Kiss Me Kate, and Guys and Dolls. He has directed productions of Broadway Bares, Happy Endings, and 2XIST fashion shows.

About the Music Director

Christopher D. Littlefield takes the baton as the music director of Spamalot. Littlefield is the associate music supervisor at The 5th Avenue, where he was most recently associate music director for the hit holiday production of Oliver! and the world premiere of Secondhand Lions. He has been music director for national tours of The Addams Family and 9 to 5, as well as Off-Broadway productions of Naked Boys Singing and Shout! The Mod Musical. He has worked with regional theaters including Cape Playhouse, Barrington Stage, George St. Playhouse, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Texas Shakespere festival. Littlefield can be heard on recordings of Glory Days (original Broadway cast), Home (Nikki Renee Daniels), and What I Wanna Be When I Grow Up (Scott Alan).

About the Writers

Book-, music-, and lyric-writer Eric Idle has multi-hyphenated his way through life assiduously avoiding a proper job, from a writer and actor in the legendary "Monty Python" TV series and movies, to the creator and director of "The Rutles," the pre-fab four, whose legend will last a lunchtime. He has appeared on stage in drag singing rude songs at Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl as well as performing in two highly successful tours, Eric Idle Exploits Monty Python (2000) and The Greedy Bastard Tour (2003), for which he journeyed 15,000 miles across North America in a bus. His Greedy Bastard Diary of that tour is published by Harper Collins. His play Pass the Butler ran for five months in London's West End; he has written two novels, Hello Sailor and The Road to Mars, a children's book, The Quite Remarkable Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat, and a bedside companion, The Rutland Dirty Weekend Book.

Composer John du Prez, a Trevelyan Scholar at Christ Church, Oxford, and Associate of the Royal College of Music, entered the film industry in 1978 composing additional music for Monty Python's Life of Brian. This began a long association with Eric Idle, leading eventually to their current writing partnership. He has scored more than 20 feature films including The Meaning of Life, A Private Function, A Fish Called Wanda, Once Bitten, UHF and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I, II and III. Other Python projects include the Contractual Obligation Album, Monty Python at the Hollywood Bowl and The Fairly Incomplete & Rather Badly Illustrated Monty Python Song Book. He was music director for Eric Idle's two North American stage tours, Eric Idle Exploits Monty Python (2000) and The Greedy Bastard Tour (2003). Spamalot marked his Broadway debut.

About the Creative Team

Original choreography for Monty Python's Spamalot was created by Casey Nicholaw. The design team for Oliver! includes set & costume designer Tim Hatley, co-lighting designers Tom Sturge and Christian DeAngelis, sound designer Kai Harada, scenic coordinator Erik Holden, costume coordinator Pete Rush, and hair and makeup designer Mary Pyanowski Jones. Additional staff includes assistant director Pauls Macs, assistant choreographer Trina Mills, assistant music director Chris Ranney and assistant lighting designer Tristan Roberson.

About The 5th Avenue Theatre

The 5th Avenue Theatre is one of the nation's premier incubators for new musical theater. Since 2002, the celebrated company has produced 15 new musicals. To date, eight (including the 2012 hit First Date) have moved on to Broadway premieres, earning a combined 14 Tony Awards, including two for Best Musical (Hairspray and Memphis). A ninth, Disney's Aladdin, has been announced for a Broadway debut in February of 2014. The 5th Avenue Theatre is also known for its world class, critically acclaimed productions of musicals chosen from both the contemporary canon and the Golden Age of Broadway.

Unique in its Chinese-inspired design, this exquisite theater opened in 1926 as a venue for vaudeville and film. In 1980, the non-profit 5th Avenue Theatre began producing and presenting top-quality live musical theater. Today, under the leadership of Executive Producer and Artistic Director David Armstrong, Managing Director Bernadine C. Griffin and Producing Artistic Director Bill Berry, The 5th Avenue Theatre attracts an annual attendance of more than 287,000 and ranks among the nation's largest and most respected musical theater companies.

In addition to its main stage productions, The 5th Avenue Theatre is also committed to encouraging the next generation of theatergoers through its extensive educational outreach programs which include: The Adventure Musical Theatre Touring Company, The 5th Avenue Awards Honoring High School Musical Theater, the Rising Star Project, Show Talks with Albert Evans, Curtain Up!, the Student Matinee Program, and Spotlight Nights.

For more information about The 5th Avenue Theatre, its season and its programs, please visit www.5thavenue.org.

FOR CALENDAR EDITORS:

WHAT: King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table are storming The 5th Avenue Theatre in Monty Python's Spamalot, the perfect musical to fight the winter blues. Based on the blockbuster 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, this hilarious musical comedy lays siege to Seattle featuring a stellar lineup of local talent including Joshua Carter, Allen Fitzpatrick, Richard Gray, Laura Griffith, Louis Hobson, Greg McCormick Allen, Matt Owen, and Dane Stokinger. Called "Fantastic! Gorgeously silly!" by The New York Post, Spamalot blends cerebral audacity with slapstick absurdity in this wacky version of King Arthur's mythical search for the Holy Grail. Bringing to the stage such classic Monty Python shticks as the Knights Who Say Ni, the killer rabbit, flying cows, and "Always Look on the Bright Side of Your Life," Spamalot is side-splitting fun.

WHEN: Previews: January 30-February 5, 2014

Opening Night: Thursday, February 6, 2014 (press night)

Closing Performance: Sunday, March 2, 2012

SHOW Tuesdays & Wednesdays - 7:30 PM

TIMES: Thursdays & Fridays - 8:00 PM

Saturdays - 2:00 PM & 8:00 PM

Sundays - 1:30 PM & 7:00 PM

Added performance on Thursday, February 20 at 1:30 PM.

No evening performances on February 23 and March 2.

No performances on February 25 and 26.

WHERE: The 5th Avenue Theatre (1308 5th Avenue, Seattle)

TICKETS: For single tickets (starting at $39) and information, please visit www.5thavenue.org or call the Box Office at (206) 625-1900. Tickets may also be purchased at (888) 5TH-4TIX. Groups of 10 or more save on ticket prices and service fees. To find out more, call 888-625-1418.

Special thanks to The 5th Avenue Theatre 2013/14 season sponsors ArtsFund, U.S. Bank, and Safeco Insurance, official airline Delta Air Lines, and media sponsor The Seattle Times. Additional thanks to production sponsor Snoqualmie Tribe.

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